We finished punching holes and tying yarn onto our snouts and we are ready for the children to wear them tomorrow as they play! They are excited and we can’t wait to see how they choose to act out being dinosaurs!
Our science area has also been a big hit during this unit. I have two fossil replicas, three dino egg replicas, four footprint replicas, as well as a raptor claw and a t-rex tooth replica for the children to examine. All these items I found on eBay for under $20 (with shipping) – I’ve been buying then for the past few months knowing I eventually wanted to do a dinosaur unit! I felt that sometimes dinosaurs can come across as a bit abstract to pre-k children so I thought it would help to have something they could actually pick up and manipulate. Along side those items I have three books about dinosaurs for the children too look through. The books aren’t for pre-k (probably more reference books for high school or middle school) but they each have TONS of dinosaur era pictures. The children love to look through them and compare the pictures to the items on the science table!
Today we did the Dino Pokey by Mrs. Jones! The children loved it and we spent at least 20 mins singing it over and over again! Sometimes it still surprises me how something this simple can entertain a group of children for so long!
There was nothing planned today. Nothing. Only a blank lesson plan. I know, kinda sad. We usually have an art project going and various centers open and the children play and create things during our morning. I didn’t feel like that today. So, today we did music – which the children loved! Don’t get me wrong, I try to do a little music each day – but not like we did it today. Today we used our musical instruments and dancing ribbons. Unfortunately, this isn’t something we do a lot. They are stored in a cupboard and I tend to forget we have them. But not today – today they came out on all their glory!
The children had a blast dancing with the ribbons and playing instruments. I liked watching how some children tried to move their bodies differently to get the ribbons to move a certain way. And I loved the way the children with the instruments paraded around the class as if they were in a band. They really enjoyed themselves…and so did I. This entertained them for almost an hour! I was surprised…but happy!
After our musical instruments and dancing ribbons – we continued our musical day by putting in a CD with songs that told us what to do or how to dance. I like these because it makes the children listen and think about what they are going to do. Nice sometimes. Usually for this type of music activity we turn to one of our favorite artists Greg & Steve. The children love them! But today we did another CD. We put in Stephanie Burton’s Wiggle Worm Workout. This is another CD we love a lot! We love the way that almost every song has a different tempo and it isn’t so over-produced that you can’t understand the words. It’s simple, clear, and fun! We almost did the entire CD before we had to go to lunch. This is definitely a CD I would recommend to other teachers.
So, even though today wasn’t planned – everyone still had a good time! No misbehavior or time-outs the entire morning! I think it’s a miracle! Trust me, looking back – I can hardly believe it myself. But then again, we all know that happy, engaged children don’t really have the need to act out. Now, on to the weekend…
I added little blacks heads to each ladybug today and now they look less like black and red spiders and more like ladybugs! We also found 2 more live ladybugs on the playground today. This excited the children to no end! As we did yesterday – we observed them for awhile and then set them free on a tree that overhangs our fence.
Also, yesterday I talked to the teacher I snapped at the day before. She understood that I was just having some sort of really bad day and didn’t take it personally. So we’re back to normal now. She said she understands that everyone looses it and has a bad day every now and then. She knows I’m not normally like that and said that she wasn’t going to make it a big thing. Whew! I was relieved and I know that it will never happen again!
On Monday and Tuesday we are going learn about bees and do some kind of bee art. I don’t know what kind of art project we will do…trying to find a good bumble bee to make – but haven’t found one I like yet. So, I’m gonna keep looking…hopefully I find something! I’m also looking for a cute book to read…thought I had one but now I can’t find it! How frustrating! Oh well, that’s life!
We are also going to start learning our end of the year songs that we will sing for our parents! We’ve been listening to them all week and the children really like them! I had about 5 songs for us to choose between and the two we picked are the two the children responded to the most! One is a christian song called “I am a Promise” and the other is a Raffi song called “All I Really Need” – I’m sure the kids will look adorable singing them! This is not the first time I’ve picked a Raffi song and they are always a hit! I’ve also done “I am a Promise” in past years and parents love it! Can’t wait to get started!
I think the best thing you can say to a child is, “I love you.” I make a point to say this everyday in my class. And the children tell me the same. We even read books and sings songs that remind each other of how much love there is between us. Right now one of their favorite songs to request is “You Are My Sunshine”. There are actually times where they just break out – all by themselves – and start singing this song without us having to initiate. It’s pretty cool. Just as cool as the times you get group hugs from the class while they all tell you they love you. I love you too guys.
Below is an incredibly lovely version of “You Are My Sunshine” sung by the very talented Elizabeth Mitchell. I love her childrens music – so very simple it reminds you of an earlier time…I highly recommend it for any child in your life!